Q: I recently was called for jury duty and was sent to a Court where the suit involved a car accident. I was not picked to be on the jury but when they were asking questions of the whole jury panel I asked if the Defendant had insurance that covered the claims. They told me I could not consider that issue. Aren’t we all required to have insurance to cover the damages claimed in car wrecks?
A: You are correct. Texas law requires all vehicles to have proof of insurance. You can rest assured in a car wreck case that if there is a lawyer defending the Defendant and the case has made it all the way to a trial, the Defendant probably has insurance coverage that will cover the damages.
All insurance policies have a provision that the Insurance Company has a right to settle or not settle any claim on its own. The person who bought the insurance has no say in whether any case should settle and therefore no ability to prevent themselves from being sued. Insurance companies are betting that juries will give little or no money so they can pay as little as possible on each suit. In the large majority of cases the Defendant themselves will never have to pay a penny as they purchased insurance that will cover the damages in the suit.
The reason why Courts and Attorneys cant tell you this in a specific trial involving a car accident is the Courts are afraid juries will disregard evidence and award money just because there is insurance that will pay for the damages.
If you have any questions or would like one of my free ACCIDENT INFORMATION CARDS please feel free to e-mail my office.
*Kerry H. Collins is Board Certified in Personal Injury
Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization